Faster, Higher, Stronger

I have been at home now for almost one week, I thought it might have been quite chilled out and relaxed but I seem to be as busy as ever. I took a trip down to London to have an X-ray and speak to a specialist about my injury. Going to London was very last minute and quite surreal. London is all you hear about in the UK at the moment with the Olympics going on and here I was getting in and out of the city as quickly as possible. London is very busy at the best of times but there was a new level of insanity on the tubes, it was hard work on crutches. Imagine trying to get on to an escalator on crutches… it is not easy and I would guess impossible if you didn’t have someone to help! Luckily my brother in law kindly took the day off work to drive me to Oxford and escort me to the hospital. Thank you very much Bob!
I was treated amazingly at The University College Hospital, the staff were fantastic and I was in and out in no time. With it being such a fresh break there was little information they could give me but I got a nice new bright pink cast and I will return next week for another X-ray which will hopefully provide us with a little more details.

So everything is all about the Olympics… If I had stayed in Switzerland I wouldn’t have watched any of it. I am not the biggest fan of watching TV, especially sports. I would much rather participate than watch others. However, sofa bound and with sisters who adore the legendary games I have now seen quite a lot. I saw the faces of pride and honour as the olympians walked out behind their flag at the unique and breathtaking opening ceremony. I have seen the faces of the athletes who have worked so hard and given their all and had huge amounts of pressure to preform, the faces of disappointment and regret, the face you have no control over that comes at the moment when you wish you could turn back time a little and go again, with no mistakes, no errors, just like you have done thousands of times in training. I have also seen the faces of disbelief, excitement and relief as athletes have won or placed higher than they could have imagined! The effort put in by some of our GB athletes has been unreal and truly inspiring! Watching the mens gymnastics got me psyched to train seeing their power and ability to hold it together and perform when it mattered most. I hope there are people throughout the UK that are inspired maybe to train harder or to begin competing or even take up a new sport and find a new passion.

Climbing is not an olympic sport currently but this games has made me start to wonder what will happen if it becomes one. Climbing being in the biggest sporting event in the world, recognised by the whole nation, our athletes getting the support and funding to take the sport to a new level. I have seen how much the sport has grown in the time I have been part of the climbing world and its crazy. Hundreds of new walls opening across the country and the number of people participating throughout all age groups rising constantly. Yet so many people are still unaware of this sport, how far could it go, how big would it become if climbing became an olympic sport and what effects would it have.

One of the things that I love most about climbing is the social aspect, I see a lot of my climbing friends like family. I first started climbing at the North West Face in Warrington, it is not a very big wall but the atmosphere was always so welcoming and everyone no matter how old or how strong would chat and climb together. I think that starting climbing in a small wall and not having very much to go at meant people pushed themselves more, tried hard things even knowing they couldn’t do them. Problems and routes naturally became projects and limits were inevitably pushed. Now that climbing walls offer such a huge amount at all levels people don’t really get forced into pushing themselves the way they once did, with competitive climbing coming more into the limelight and the potential for it to feature in such major events this could be the thing that pushes British climbing up to the next level.
The sports is changing, developing and progressing across all disciplines indoors and outdoors both in and out of competition. So much has changed with out me realising and I want to try to be part of ensuring the development and progression is positive. Last year I was part of the organisation for the first national Womens Climbing Symposium and it was an incredible success with over 100 female climbers from across the country coming together to celebrate and analyse their sport, discussing and learning ways to improve their participation.

Breaking my leg has changed my plans for the rest of this year, I am going to miss some of the biggest competitions and I have had to cancel a big trip to the states. But I now have time, something which has been very scarce over the past 6 months. This means I can be more involved with the 2012 Womens Climbing Symposium which I am very excited about! The event will be taking place on Saturday November 3rd. If you are female and you climb and you are going to be in the UK then you should be there! Check out the Facebook page HERE to find out more details.

I have had time to reflect on the year so far, realise how lucky I have been, appreciate the opportunities that I have been given and reflect on the success I have had. I never imagined doing so well and it’s only now I have stopped that I realise how far my climbing has come in such a short period of time.

Training has now recommenced, Bob has put my Beastmakers up and a good friend of mine Mark is going to help me fix up my shoulders and improve my upper body and finger strength. It feels so good to be doing something and getting stuck in. I am really quite excited to see how much stronger I can get.

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